BERLIN — Marcus Thuram took a moment in apparent tribute to George Floyd after scoring in Borussia Monchengladbach’s 4-1 win over Union Berlin in the Bundesliga on Sunday.
The Gladbach forward was left free at the far post to score the home side’s second goal with a header in the 41st minute. He briefly accepted teammates’ congratulations, then dropped his left knee to the ground and rested his right arm on his right thigh as he bowed his head in reflection. He spent five seconds in this position before getting up again to continue.
Thuram’s gesture seemed to reference Floyd, a handcuffed black man who died Monday after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee on his neck.
“No explanation needed,” Gladbach said on Twitter with a picture of Thuram kneeling.
On Saturday, Schalke midfielder Weston McKennie wore an armband with the handwritten message “Justice for George” around his left arm. McKennie later said on Twitter: “We have to stand up for what we believe in and I believe that it is time that we are heard!”
Thuram scored again Sunday, grabbing Gladbach’s third goal after Sebastian Andersson pulled one back for Union, but by then the French striker had already made his point.
Alassane Plea wrapped up the scoring with Gladbach’s fourth in the 81st.
Gladbach moved third, but can be overtaken Monday when Leipzig visits Cologne. Union dropped to 14th after its sixth game without a win.
The game was played without fans due to strict coronavirus measures but thousands of supporters were represented in the otherwise empty stands by life-size plastic cutouts printed with their likenesses.
Second-place Borussia Dortmund played at last-place Paderborn later Sunday. Bayern Munich has a 10-point lead over Dortmund.